This month brings in the rock veterans -- from Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, who have been whipping up crowds for three decades, to Beck, whose latest incarnation as a new-age Neil Young will fit perfectly with the easy-breezy vibe at Merriweather Post. Shows to catch in July:
Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds
Nick Cave, a rock-and-roll evangelist who has managed to enrapture audiences for more than 30 years, last worked his lounge-lizard voodoo in Washington at a crowded show at Strathmore in 2013. It was a strange venue for the goth-rocker, but perhaps suited the Bad Seeds' recent forays into glum, sleepy balladry. This tour, which follows a record of live cuts taped at legendary Los Angeles radio station KCRW, returns Cave and Co. to a larger listening room.
Buzz factor: 7. Cave's shows are the rock equivalent of tent revivals - nearly religious affairs that summon audiences to their feet as part of the ritual. If you haven't seen Cave perform, you don't know what you're missing.
July 23 at DAR Constitution Hall, 1776 D St. NW. 202-628-1776. www.dar.org/constitution-hall. $29.50-$55.
Listen: "We No Who U R"
Queens of the Stone Age
Josh Homme's ever-changing cast of band members produced its last album, ". . . Like Clockwork," more than a year ago, and no new record is planned until Queens of the Stone Age's tour ends in September. But with summer festivals packed with blippy dance bands and DJs, a bill starring these heartstoppingly loud psych-rockers is a much-needed shot of B12.
Buzz factor: 7. After a decade-plus of music-making, Homme certainly has his fans. But making this month's show at Merriweather Post Pavilion even more appealing is the opening act: the enigmatic, obsession-stoking songstress, St. Vincent.
July 17 at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. 410-715-5550. www.merriweathermusic.com. $40-$65.
Between appearances by Rodrigo y Gabriela, Daddy Yankee and the salsa acts lined up for the Mega Kestafest music festival, July is a big month for Latin music fans. Kestafest, hosted by Latin music Web site Kesta Happening, offers a slew of veteran
acts, including Colombian salseros Grupo Niche (above), popular Puerto Rican salsa orchestra El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico and Colombia's Orquesta Guayacan.
Buzz factor: 6. Clear the aisles and break out your dancing shoes: These acts might not be as trendy as this fall's big double-bill with Pitbull and Enrique Iglesias, but the salsa focus promises a broader appeal, particularly in an area with a thriving community of salsa dancers.
July 18 at Patriot Center, 4500 Patriot Cir., Fairfax. 703-993-3000. www.kestadc.com. $29-$139.
The genre being referred to as "future R&B" - the music churned out by Drake, the Weeknd, Jhene Aiko and Kelela - is atmospheric and complex in a way that leaves fans chewing on its rhythms listen after listen. But it will never quite get the blood pumping and the booties shaking like the old-school R&B of New Edition. Those looking for a schooling should take note: Bobby Brown (below), Ronnie DeVoe, Ricky Bell, Mike Bivins, Ralph Tresvant and Johnny Gill, the superstar sextet that started raunching out as mere children, have reunited for a nearly 30-city tour.
Buzz factor: 8. The current love affair with all things '80s and '90s - from the gauche streetwear to grunge - should make
this show a draw for kids as well as more mature fans.
July 20 at Verizon Center, 601 F St. NW. 202-628-3200.
Folk-funk troubadour Beck shot to fame with "Loser," a song that used sly humor to embrace his generation's reputation for career-averse slacking. But in the intervening years, Beck Hansen has proved himself anything but a slacker: The songwriter has created a constant loop of musical invention and re-invention. (Half of the excitement of waiting for a Beck album is wondering what genre it will fall under.) His latest, "Morning Phase," is a slow-moving yet soaring folk album. It's his first
release in more than five years and his least idiosyncratic record in eons. For this tour, he's reimagined himself, too, adopting the lean, all-black rags that bring to mind Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash.
Buzz factor: 9. Beck's smart sets at recent festivals have won raves for their seamless transitions from such popular old rockers as "Devil's Haircut" into such moody numbers as "Blue Moon" off "Morning Phase."
July 24 at Merriweather Post Pavilion, 10475 Little Patuxent Pkwy., Columbia. 410-715-5550. www.merriweathermusic.com. $45-$75.
Listen: "Blue Moon"